When the Academy speaks, all eyes turn to Hollywood. The Academy Awards are the oldest, and likely most well known film awards company in existence. (The Golden Globes, The Cannes Film Festival, and even the British Academy Film Awards – or BAFTAs – all were founded in the 1940s, roughly 20 years later) Given the eminent nature of the Academy; it’s hard not to notice when they make a major announcement – and they have. The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards have been announced and our founders sat down and analyzed the list. 


I feel I should add a preface that I am an unabashed fan of the Daniels. I saw Swiss Army Men in a special preview and had the opportunity to interview them after. Their ability to innovate and operate within the limitations of studio and budget has always impressed me. So needless to say, I’m thrilled at the attention they are receiving for ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ – but let’s get to the races.

The easiest by far to predict is Best Actress in a Leading Role – Michelle Yeoh has this one, no doubt. To be honest; I still think we owe her a statue for ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and she wasn’t even nominated! Cate Blanchett was incredible in Tár, but the two roles are a pretty stark juxtaposition. Where Michelle was wild, diverse, and just everything – Cate was restrained, statuesque, and incredibly powerful. In this case however; I think Michelle has it on lock.

For Best Supporting Actress, I’m going to go out on a limb and say Angela Bassett. Not only does she bring an incredible body of work to the table (including her near miss for ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It’ in 1994) but you have to remember the incredible emotion surrounding the film after the passing of Chadwick Boseman. I loved both Jamie Lee and Stephanie in ‘Everything’ but I think they will split the voters and cost the movie the award.

On the other hand; I am enthralled with the return of Ke Huy Quan and his nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Not only did he deliver an incredible performance emotionally, but it’s also clear that he has been training and brought some physical skills to the table as well. Add in his utter humility and sheer love of the industry, he has me totally charmed. Just watch him in an interview and I challenge you not to fall in love with him too.

Finally, we come to Best Actor. I adore Bill Nighy, but sadly he and Paul Mescal are in the ‘also nominated category this year. Colin was terrific in ‘Banshees’ and Austin inhabited The King in a way that few actors in history have managed, but this year we saw the return of Brendan Fraser. (He’s been working, check his resume!) Yet, his performance in ‘The Whale’ is just breathtaking. Working under massive prosthetics, he breathed life into Charlie and this is truly a performance for the ages. I hope that this not only earns him the statue; but also a true step forward into a new phase of his career. It’s utterly well deserved and I’m excited to see it!


It’s almost impossible to tackle an animated feature film without full studio support, so the competition is incredibly different between the feature and short categories. Not to mention, we now have Best Picture contenders that are essentially animated films. (Yes, I’m looking at the new Avatar movie) Yes, there were live action elements, but those are easily dwarfed by the fully animated elements. There may come a time where this sort of hybrid movie will need to be re-examined. (And after all, ‘Marcel’ had plenty of live action elements too) But that all is a debate for another time.

As to the Best Animated Feature nominees; ‘Marcel the Shell’ was wonderfully endearing and charming, but it is almost definitely going to be steam-rolled by the powerhouse of Del Toro’s ‘Pinocchio’. For me, the far more interesting category is the shorts.

Within the Best Animated Short  nominees; first I have to look at ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse’. It’s an excellent piece, no argument – but I think it’s a disservice to the rest of the nominees to allow it in the same category. At 34 minutes, it’s approaching the length required for a one hour time slot if it were programmed on broadcast television. It’s backed by massive names; Apple, BBC, JJ Abrams – it has more in common with the studio fights in the feature category than the rest of the nominees in the shorts. I just have a hard time judging this against an 8 minute project made by two or three people. If it wins, I guess I can understand, but I hope the judges have more vision than that. Hopefully ‘The Ice Merchants’ can pull out the win.


The Best Score race torments me! Obviously, you can never disregard the titan that is John Williams and I’m a massive fan of Justin Huritz (his work with Damien Chazelle speaks for itself) but I don’t think Babylon has enough inertia to pull out the win. While it’s possible for this award to get swept up by the most popular film of the night; I’m going to (hesitantly) predict Volker Bertelman pulling off the win for ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’. The grinding tension he created left my nerves in knots. It was absolutely oppressive in its intentional dissonance, and was the perfect foundation to telling such a severe story.

For Best Original Song; I do think it’s possible for Everything, Everywhere, All at Once to pick up momentum and sweep many of the awards they are nominated for. However, ‘This is a Life’ is my runner-up choice. I have to believe that the Academy won’t be able to resist going full Bollywood and awarding the catchy and upbeat ‘Naatu Naatu’ from ‘RRR’ – and anyone who thinks otherwise probably just hasn’t seen it yet. The remaining three songs are so similar, they could be the same song. It will definitely be one of the two.

For overall Best Sound, I’m pretty sure that there are really only two contenders; either ‘All Quiet’ or ‘Elvis’. If All Quiet can pick up enough momentum, it makes sense that this will get swept up in the mix. Otherwise; Elvis should come out on top.


Forgive me if I sound a bit cynical, but I think this year the writing awards will be little more than consolation prizes for films that were worthy contenders in other categories, but lost to old school Hollywood elite.

In the case of Best Adapted Screenplay – It feels like a contest between Living and All Quiet on the Western Front. Personally I would love to see Living take the prize, but I think All Quiet will lose most of the nine nominations it racked up, and this will be one of the few it actually takes home. (I can hear my critics arguing that this version of ‘All Quiet’ is from a newer team out of Germany, not exactly ‘Hollywood elite’ – but in this case I would argue that the original ‘All Quiet’ was nominated 9 times in the 3rd ever Academy Awards)

As to the Best Original Screenplay, I would turn your attention to the Best Picture race for a moment. Baz Luhrman and Martin McDonagh have an almost 20 year relationship with the Academy, and Spielberg has almost 45 years (including 3 statues already). While ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ is considered a front runner in the race – it’s hard to believe that it won’t be overwhelmed by the competition. As a result; I think the Daniels are in the lead here. Similar to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck with their award for Good Will Hunting, I think the prodigious writers will be awarded, while losing out in the main categories. (Though I do hope Michelle Yeoh is finally acknowledged!)


For Best Visual Effects, while many teams accomplished some wonderful effects – it would be criminal if the award went to anyone other than the team behind Avatar. I’m not even fully responding to the visuals of the movie – but rather the technical innovations that were created by the team that made the movie even possible, and potentially could change the fabric of filmmaking forever.

For Best Production Design, I think Avatar is going to be mostly ignored here. Rather, both ‘Fablemans’ and ‘Elvis’ will be the focus, each cutting a path through history that lightly echoes the other. While Elvis could easily pick this one up; I’m betting on Spielberg’s magic to lock this one down. That said; I don’t think anything will stand in the way of Elvis taking home Best Costume Design.

While I can see both ‘All Quiet’ and ‘Elvis’ picking it up as a consolation prize; for Best Hair & Makeup, The Whale takes my vote. The body prosthetic worn has to be carefully done, in a quiet, dramatic film like this; the camera will linger in close ups, and if you stop believing the reality of the situation even for a moment, it can potentially compromise the impact of the entire film. You need to believe this is real, and the actor needs to inhabit it as they do their own body. This is one of the cleanest examples of transformational prosthetics I’ve seen.

I think a good old fashioned tug at the heart strings will be the key to the short film categories this year. Watch for ‘An Irish Goodbye’ (an endearing look at two brothers coping with the loss of their mother) to win Best Live Action Short Film and ‘How Do You Measure a Year?’ (from the time she was two years old until she turned 18, they had a ritual. Dad asked and Ella answered. ‘What do you dream about?’ ‘What scares you?’ ‘What do you think of our relationship?’ It’s a fascinating look about growing up and the love between father and daughter) in the Best Documentary Short category.

Finally, we get into the big awards. ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ was nominated for both ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best International Feature Film‘ – I think it will lose in the big race, but feels like a lock for the International trophy. (Though personally I preferred ‘Close’, an absolute gem of a film out of Belgium that I saw at the Cannes Film Festival last year. If you haven’t seen it, please track it down!)

For Best Cinematography; it’s hard not to vote for Roger Deakins. The man is an absolute legend and has won this category twice in the last five years. That said, I think the fact that he is so lauded and the nominated film ‘Empire of Light’ mostly flew under the radar that James Field will be able to steal away the win for ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’.

For Best Documentary Feature Film; I’m backing ‘Navalny’. For Editing; ‘Top Gun: Maverick‘. (It’s possible for editing to go another way if a clear frontrunner emerges – but the Academy does like finding ‘token’ awards for otherwise unrecognized projects.)

As to Best Director, I believe this will come down to a face off between Martin McDonagh and Steven Spielberg. Ruben Östlund did win the Palm d’Oro, but he did the same with 2017’s ‘The Square’ and lost that year as well. The Daniels have a lot of buzz, but they are young. Historically, this should swing against them. Martin has lost the last few times he was nominated – but Spielberg has lost the last 13 times. It’s more than that though. Spielberg is now the only person in history to be nominated for Best Director six decades in a row – and this for a semi-autobiographical story about the foundations of his career. I think the warm sentimentality of The Fablemans (and our own love for Spielberg himself) will secure him his first win since Schindler’s List in 1993.

Finally, for Best Picture, each voted individually.

THE ANIMATOR: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.


THE ACTOR: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

THE SCREENWRITER: Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

THE FILMMAKER: The Fablemans

Majority rules; we are counting ‘Everything’ for the official score card.  

Best Picture

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Malte Grunert, Producer

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers

“Elvis,” Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss, Producers

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang, Producers

“The Fabelmans,” Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, Producers

“Tár,” Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert, Producers

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer, Producers

“Triangle of Sadness,” Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, Producers

“Women Talking,” Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Frances McDormand, Producers

Best Director 

Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 

Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) 

Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”) 

Todd Field (“Tár”) 

Ruben Östlund (“Triangle of Sadness”)

Best Lead Actor

Austin Butler (“Elvis”) 

Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 

Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) 

Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) 

Bill Nighy (“Living”) 

Best Lead Actress

Cate Blanchett (“Tár”) 

Ana de Armas (“Blonde”) 

Andrea Riseborough (“To Leslie”)

Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) 

Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 

Brian Tyree Henry (“Causeway”) 

Judd Hirsch (“The Fabelmans”)

Barry Keoghan (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 

Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) 

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) 

Hong Chau (“The Whale”) 

Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 

Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) 

Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)

Best Adapted Screenplay

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Screenplay by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” Written by Rian Johnson

“Living,” Written by Kazuo Ishiguro

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks

“Women Talking,” Screenplay by Sarah Polley

Best Original Screenplay

“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Written by Martin McDonagh

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert

“The Fabelmans,” Written by Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner

“Tár,” Written by Todd Field

“Triangle of Sadness,” Written by Ruben Östlund

Best Cinematography 

“All Quiet on the Western Front”, James Friend

“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” Darius Khondji

“Elvis,” Mandy Walker

“Empire of Light,” Roger Deakins

“Tár,” Florian Hoffmeister

Best Documentary Feature Film 

“All That Breathes,” Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer

“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin and Yoni Golijov

“Fire of Love,” Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman

“A House Made of Splinters,” Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström

“Navalny,” Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris

Best Documentary Short Film 

“The Elephant Whisperers,” Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga

“Haulout,” Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev

“How Do You Measure a Year?” Jay Rosenblatt

“The Martha Mitchell Effect,” Anne Alvergue and Beth Levison

“Stranger at the Gate,” Joshua Seftel and Conall Jones

Best Film Editing

“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen

“Elvis,” Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Paul Rogers

“Tár,” Monika Willi

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Eddie Hamilton

Best International Feature Film 

“All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany) 

“Argentina, 1985” (Argentina) 

“Close” (Belgium)

“EO” (Poland) 

“The Quiet Girl” (Ireland) 

Best Original Song 

“Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman,” Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and BloodPop

“Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson; Lyric by Tems and Ryan Coogler

“Naatu Naatu” from “RRR,” Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose  

“This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski; Lyric by Ryan Lott and David Byrne 

Best Production Design 

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Production Design: Christian M. Goldbeck; Set Decoration: Ernestine Hipper

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Production Design: Dylan Cole and Ben Procter; Set Decoration: Vanessa Cole

“Babylon,” Production Design: Florencia Martin; Set Decoration: Anthony Carlino

“Elvis,” Production Design: Catherine Martin and Karen Murphy; Set Decoration: Bev Dunn

“The Fabelmans,” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara

Best Visual Effects

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank and Kamil Jafar

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett

“The Batman,” Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands and Dominic Tuohy

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White and Dan Sudick

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson and Scott R. Fisher

Best Animated Feature Film 

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley

“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan and Paul Mezey

“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” Joel Crawford and Mark Swift

“The Sea Beast,” Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger

“Turning Red,” Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins

Best Animated Short Film

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud

“The Flying Sailor,” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

“Ice Merchants,” João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano

“My Year of Dicks,” Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon

“An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It,” Lachlan Pendragon

Best Costume Design 

“Babylon,” Mary Zophres

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Ruth Carter

“Elvis,” Catherine Martin

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Shirley Kurata

“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” Jenny Beavan

Best Live Action Short

“An Irish Goodbye,” Tom Berkeley and Ross White

“Ivalu,” Anders Walter and Rebecca Pruzan

“Le Pupille,” Alice Rohrwacher and Alfonso Cuarón

“Night Ride,” Eirik Tveiten and Gaute Lid Larssen

“The Red Suitcase,” Cyrus Neshvad

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová

“The Batman,” Naomi Donne, Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Camille Friend and Joel Harlow

“Elvis,” Mark Coulier, Jason Baird and Aldo Signoretti

“The Whale,” Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Anne Marie Bradley

Best Original Score 

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Volker Bertelmann

“Babylon,” Justin Hurwitz

“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Carter Burwell

“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Son Lux

“The Fabelmans,” John Williams

Best Sound

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel and Stefan Korte

“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers and Michael Hedges

“The Batman,” Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray and Andy Nelson

“Elvis,” David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson and Michael Keller

“Top Gun: Maverick,” Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor

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